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The Polo Lounge
May 2003. A weekend in Glasgow...

... will probably make you better appreciate wherever it is you live or go out. Gorgonzola? Camembert? Danish Blue? Good old Cheddar? Wherever I went, it was cheese, cheese and for dessert, how about some cheese?

My exploits on this occasion were limited to the gay scene, which obviously is giving people there what they want as both the main clubs and the proliferation of pubs and bars were all busy, so perhaps the whole of the city's nightlife should not be smeared with the same cheese knife. There is, after all, The Arches, Glasgow's most famous venue, which hosts an eclectic selection of events, (with Judge Jules and his acolyte Eddie Halliwell due to play there the day after I left) and a variety of other clubs and events. But like many other locations in the British Isles today, the city's gay scene solely pumps out pop pap, and often not very well. Glasgow's gay clubs and bars seem to have invented a new style of DJing. This involves putting one record on one deck, and another, somewhat unrelated record on the other, then, as if by magic, slamming over from the first to the second. In other words, the concept of m-i-x-i-n-g the tracks doesn't seem to have percolated this far North. Or maybe I've just witnessed the cutting edge - the new style of non-mixing DJing which is about the take the world by storm, god help us

Clubs-wise Glasgow's gay scene splits between The Polo Lounge and Bennets, with each having its own feeder bar, Delmonaco's for the first and Sadie Frosts for the second. For those who don't know it, a feeder bar is a bar people go to before going on to a club, which promotes a specific club. Sometimes they're owned by the same owners as the club, sometimes they have some kind of arrangement.

In Glasgow's case both the clubs and many of the bars are extremely well-appointed. They look new, very smart, have good sound systems and lighting and the crowds at them are generally very friendly. The Polo Lounge seems to cater for slightly older customers (more people in their twenties than Bennets?), and Paul, the manager, says they are not a drugs orientated crowd. There are two dance rooms, one playing cheese, and the other playing 70s and 80s choons. The "chill-out" area is spacious with sumptuous deep sofas and chairs. A classy place.

Bennets's crowd is younger, and well into glowsticks. This club also has two dance rooms, one on each floor, one playing cheese, while the other bills itself as playing harder dance music. I spent much of my time here as Lisa Scott Lee, a Step, was making a personal live appearance in the other room. (Incidentally, why on earth do places have to make an issue of an artiste appearing "live". After all it's not like you're going to mistake them for a corpse is it?). This was a mistake, as the DJ in this supposedly harder room was a devotee, (if not the founder), of this new style of non-mixing DJing. Believe me when I tell you that listening to a bad DJ can make you feel physically sick.

Still the crowd were friendly, and definitely out to have a good time, as you should be able to see from the pics.

Bennet's hard dance room
Sorry guys - forgot your names!
Bennet's cheese room
Scottish/Irish friendship
Brian and mate
Sorry I've forgotten your name too!  Aargh!!!
Brian and mates
The Arches plays some decent DJs
God's Kitchen's Glasgow vent
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